While taking care of some business in downtown Brooklyn, I came across 2 tough guys taking care of business on the street corner. It was a turf war. Two fierce competitors fighting to be king. The battle was not with guns and knives; it was a battle of strategy and tactics. The weapon; intellect. It was a chess game. Oh how I wish it were a demonstration of an alternative to the gang violence that plagues urban areas and has spread to the suburban and rural areas of our country. Alas, what I was witnessing was a chess demonstration to advertise a chess summer camp for children.
I’m not giving up the hope of replacing street gangs with chess teams. I think gangs could be enticed if we started by giving them some super-cool team names to replace their gang tags. The Bloods could be called the Black Bishops; the Crips will be the Checkmates, Cojones Squad will henceforth be the Pawn Storm and the Latin Kings – well they could keep their old name. You get the idea?